CBD Hemp Cultivars
CBD Hemp Cultivars are varieties of Cannabis spp. which have been specially bred to comply with legal requirements for Industrial Hemp while producing high levels of Cannabidiol, or CBD.
High CBD Hemp can be processed to produce hemp oil, CBD distillate or isolate.
While Industrial Hemp bred for seed and fibre does contain some CBD, new high CBD hemp genetics have been specially selected to produce large harvests of high CBD flower and hemp biomass for processing into CBD extracts.
All these strains can produce <0.3% THC when quality seed is cultivated, harvested and processed appropriately.
Note that these cultivars have mostly been selected for temperate climates, and in subtropical or tropical climates their THC levels may be higher than 0.3%. For this reason some states/countries that often face this problem permit up to 1.0% THC, but you should seek legal advice before planting new strains in your region.
Note also that these CBD hemp cultivars are often planted at a particular time of year and harvested early to prevent THC levels exceeding 0.3%.
What is a Cultivar?
A cultivar is a selected, standarised line of plants bred for a specific purpose. Cultivar means “Cultivated Variety”. Wikipedia defines a cultivar as “plants selected for desirable characters that are maintained during propagation. More generally, cultivar refers to the most basic classification category of cultivated plants in the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). Most cultivars arose in cultivation, but a few are special selections from the wild.
Note: Most CBD Hemp Cultivars are still under development or used as research strains, so they may not meet traditional plant breeding criteria as a cultivar yet. Over the next few years we will see an explosion of availability of stable, well documented CBD hemp cultivars.
Hemp Strains vs Hemp Cultivars
Hemp Cultivars are largely synonymous with hemp strains. Most cannabis lack the consistency and stability of a true cultivar. High CBD strains that have been selected, bred and stabilised with <0.3% THC may qualify as hemp cultivars and be eligible for certification.
Best CBD Hemp Cultivars 2018
2018 has seen an explosion of exceptional cannabis genetics. Below we share some of the top CBD Hemp strains hitting the market in 2018.
CBD Hemp Cultivars should be grown as a medicinal crop if they are planned to be used for CBD production – with strong attention paid to prevent contamination or adulteration of the crop or the finished product.
CBD Hemp Strains
Genetics: (The Wife x Charlotte’s Cherries)
Cherry Wine is one of the most widely grown at best known high CBD hemp cultivars. It is one of the few registered cultivars available in the US with a potential CBD content of over 10%.
Cherry Wine has a pleasing Cherry flavour and produces well but needs to be carefully managed to ensure it’s THC levels do not exceed the 0.3% threshold.
Cherry Wine High CBD Hemp Cultivar is one of the best known and widely used CBD hemp strains. Available as seeds and clones, Cherry Wine is one of few high CBD strains that perform well that are listed with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Due to it’s prodigious cannabinoids production Cherry Wine Hemp does need to be managed carefully to ensure it doesn’t exceed the 0.3% THC limit.
While not certified as industrial hemp currently future selection could result in it’s being listed as a hemp strain. With correct management and selection it can be grown and kept under 0.3% THC
Charlotte’s Cherries: Charlotte’s Web x Colorado Cherry
Charlotte’s Cherries is a rare sativa dominant hybrid strain created through crossing the classic Charlotte’s Web (R4) with the delicious Colorado Cherry. Like the name suggests, Cherry Charlotte has a sweet tasty flavor that is just like freshly picked cherries, although it does have a touch of skunk to it. The smell is very earthy and skunky with a notable hint of cherry as the nugs are broken apart and burned. Cherry Charlotte buds have piecey bright neon green nugs with long thin orange hairs and a coating of chunky oversized bright white crystal trichomes. The Cherry Charlotte high comes on pretty quickly after your first toke with mellow cerebral effects. You’ll feel a slightly euphoric lift that eases away mental aches and pains and leaves you feeling happy and completely at ease. As these mild mental effects grow, a relaxingly light body high will creep over you, leaving you physically calm and relaxed. Thanks to these moderate effects and its super high 15% average CBD level, Cherry Charlotte is said to be perfect for treating conditions such as chronic inflammation, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic pain.
Genetics: Cherry Kandahar S1 (In-house selection) x Chardonnay
Potency: 13% CBD .2-.3% THC
Harvest: 8 weeks indoor/Early October outdoor
Berry Blossom checks all boxes when grading quality and performance from our 2017 season crops. The Chardonnay selection reversed in this hybrid tested just over non-detectable THC at full maturity (8+ weeks in flower)and averaged 13% CBD from whole plant composite samples. With CBD farming scaling to big agricultural acreage, we felt it was a priority to develop and stabilize a boutique quality CBD flower that could be farmed without the concern of going over the THC threshold. This line has proven itself to handle the roughest conditions and longest flower cycles while remaining under .3% THC. Planted on 5-foot centers, Berry Blossom averaged 2500 pounds of dry whole plant material per acre in 2017.
The breeders of Berry Blossom are in the process of developing a “High Desert Blossom” from this cultivar, and it will be available for sale in 2019. This new line will perform well in the brutal heat of the high desert region.
Genetics: Tangistan R4 x Charlottes Cherries
Potency: 12-20% CBD. .3% THC (depending on the time of harvest and climate variables).
Harvest: 6 – 8 weeks indoor. First week October outdoor.
Cobbler was developed with one thing in mind. TERPS! This line has proven to produce terpene profiles that bring a whole new spectrum of flavor to CBD flowers exuding exotic oils that will provide a new alternative flavor to CBD hemp than the traditional cherry cough syrup flavor. By working our Charlotte’s Cherries stud that has proven to lower THC in past projects as well we have gotten this terpene machine tuned to stay in compliant range for industrial hemp cultivation when harvested in the appropriate window of time. The Tangistan R4 in the lineage shortened the flowering time making this cultivar ideal for outdoors. Hemp farmers will have to harvest the Cobbler from weeks 5-7 with most seed population to keep THC under .3% THC, but with the flowers and resin developing quickly in bloom on this variety farmers will still reap solid yields of terpene packed hemp for all forms of botanical extraction.
Genetics: Wife S1 x Cherry Wine
Potency: 15% – 19% CBD Non detectable -.3% THC
Harvest: 8 Weeks indoor / Early to mid-October outdoor
This seed line is the champion of CBD resin production. By first reversing our 20% CBD phenotype of “The Wife” to herself we conducted an S1 phenotype hunt in search of a cut that finished a bit earlier with the highest testing CBD content. After selecting a frosty 8-week finisher that averaged 19% CBD .3% THC we then paired her with our new 50:1 Cherry Wine male to compliment her progeny in both flavor and compound content. Expect top shelf bag appeal packed with an offensively loud cheesy terp profile. Trophy Wife averaged 2000 pounds per acre in Colorado 2017.
Genetics: Black Rose (R4 x OttoBx1) x Cherry Wine
Potency: 12%-15% CBD. Non Detectable – .3% THC
Harvest: 7-8 Weeks Indoor. First Week October Outdoors
The focus on the Chardonnay project was to increase the CBD content of our darkest purple varietal “Black Rose”, and compliment her with the potency and mouth-watering terpene profiles that Cherry Wine expresses. This line was proven to be stable for industrial hemp cultivation consistently in multiple locations 2016, remaining compliant throughout the entire duration of flower without the need to harvest early. Expect 70% of phenotypes to exhibit purple flower colorization by the time of harvest.